JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – The Alaska House of Representatives has established a committee to focus on tribal affairs across a variety of issues.

KTOO and Alaska Public Media reported Monday that the new Alaska House Tribal Affairs Committee convened for the first time on March 7.

Representatives say the committee was formed so a single body can work to advance relationships and deal with the full range of tribal affairs.

Lawmakers spent the initial meetings receiving an overview of tribal governance and how compacts are reached with the state.

They say the relationship cuts across many state departments and tribal organizations could help provide more services funded by Alaska’s government.

A representative of the First Alaskans Institute says Alaska Native people have a perspective from which the entire state can benefit.

Information from: KTOO-FM, http://www.ktoo.org